Saanich Fire said Wednesday morning a deadly blaze that tore through a Richmond Road apartment last Friday was likely caused by an electrical appliance failure.

Officials say the fire may have been sparked by a small space heater, speaker or failed power bar and those items have been taken for further forensic examination.

Saanich fire ended their investigation into the cause of the the fire at 2623 Richmond Avenue that began at around 4:30 a.m. June 21.

A woman in her 60s was found unresponsive in the fire and later pronounced dead.

Two others were injured.

Upon arrival, firefighters were tasked with rescuing residents that had not been evacuated from their upper floor balconies.

Saanich officials say the 85-suite, four-storey apartment building sustained heavy damage and the fire started on the fourth floor.

Thirty-one suites affected by the fire remain uninhabitable and 22 displaced residents are being supported by Emergency Social Services until Thursday morning.

Authorities say Saanich Fire and the Saanich Emergency Program will continue to provide needed assistance.

The district also says the building, that was constructed in 1972, passed a Saanich Fire inspection on May 8.

The province’s seniors’ advocate voiced concern over the safety of aging buildings and that many residents in the apartment were seniors.

CHEK